“Upgrade programme to deliver benefit to utility”

Problem

A major UK Electricity Company had embarked upon a significant upgrade programme to its wireless infrastructure. The internal resource available to complete these works was limited in volume as the team had reduced in numbers over several decades to a point where there was only sufficient capacity to complete essential maintenance activities. Despite concerted efforts to satisfy the demands of the project, the small team were unable to cope with the sheer volume of activities. In addition, hardware issues (out of box failures) from an incumbent supplier began to have a big impact on project roll out.

Solution

WHP were initially asked to assist with some of the survey and installation works which were involved in the project. WHP offered a project managed solution which included Cherry Pickers, permits, supervisors etc. This removed a significant amount of PM and admin activity from the client enabling them to concentrate on higher level technical issues & urgent faults. In order to resolve the hardware failure problem, WHP introduced a bench testing / pre-deployment staging of new radio equipment. This identified all faulty units prior to deployment on site and reduced site aborts almost entirely. Despite improvement efforts by the hardware manufacturer, faults remained at an unacceptably high level. An alternative supplier of radio equipment was suggested by WHP and adopted by the end client. The volume of work from this client has continued to expand – so much so that an entire end to end solution is now provided – survey (desktop and physical), Ofcom license application & management, equipment supply, site share management, plant provision, I&C, maintenance and decommissioning.

Outcome

What had become a burdensome set of problems for WHP’s client has been transformed into a successful project with cost effective, timely solutions delivered on a daily basis. WHP supply a ‘virtual radio team’ to our client – providing managed solutions for the electricity company with minimal input required from the end customer. Beyond the expansion of the telemetry / communications network, the scope of work has expanded to include major maintenance works and logistics related to spares holdings and supply.